Facing my Mortality ... Reflections on Turning 70

Facing my Mortality ... Reflections on Turning 70

Facing my mortality is good for my soul.

And my "decade-turning birthday" does give me pause, unlike any other. I don't care that they say that 70 is the new 60. Who are the "they" anyway? It's wishful thinking ... just like all the other decade-turning birthdays were. For some reason in our culture, we think we should be above aging!

Yes, there are amazing advances in medical and health sciences that keep pushing the survival rate higher and higher. But what about the "soul's survival rate"? What about the quality of the inner life that transcends the outer?

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Beauty in the Eyes of the Beholder

Beauty in the Eyes of the Beholder

... God has made everything beautiful for its own time. 
Ecclesiastes 3:11 NLT

During a recent visit with our lovely daughter and family, I was walking on "my path" on the Dover Air Force Base.

I love my path! There are walkers and their dogs, playing children and military "manifestations" (like signs written in military rather than civilian time), and best of all, safety and well-cared for walking areas. But for as many times as I have walked my path, I wasn't prepared for the delightful, though shocking, surprise on the day in question.

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Surprised by the Voice that I long to hear...in the hard

My sheep hear My voice...

This week I'm in New Jersey, caring for my 91 year old mom so that my care-giver sister can get a much needed break.

Mommy & Me on the boardwalk in Belmar

Mom has a number of health issues that have caused her to slowly, very slowly, deteriorate. Someone has called this period of life that many of us "baby boomers" face as we care for our aged parents, "The long good-bye." And it certainly is...and it's hard...very hard...and for a number of reasons.

First, of course, is the fact that our beloved one is declining and suffering in the process. That's hard to watch.

And my precious Mommy (as we sibs still call her) is developing backwards, so to speak.  She is declining back through the stages of human development, and that's hard! Hard to witness and hard to adjust to, especially relationship-wise.

The child becomes the parent, and the parent becomes the child.

mom, sibs, & me Aug 2012It's also hard because of the physical energy and personal sacrifice involved in the care-giving.

It's a privilege in so many ways to be able to "give back" to one who has sacrificed all for us. But for those of us who aren't naturally gifted in the care-giving, serving gifts, it can also be particularly difficult...even humanly speaking, distasteful!  For instance,  the need to wash and toilet the person goes against most sensibilities, to be perfectly honest!

Well, this week the Lord met me in the hard-ness of the serving.  As I was helping my precious mom in her embarrassing needs in the restroom, as my back was hurting and the smells and required care were overwelming, as everything within me was yelling, "This is hard," the Voice that I always long to hear broke through.

You are doing this for Me! I am in your mom! So you are serving ME!

Oh wow, Lord! Of course! You said,

As you did it to one of the least of these my brothers [or sisters], you did it to me. (Matthew 25:40 ESV)

You are doing all this to ME!

I was serving HIM! Yes, the King, the Lord, the Master! Wow, what a privilege... not only to serve my darling mama, but in the serving, to be ministering to my Jesus!

As my heart took this all in, I remembered another time, years ago, when I sacrificially served. It was joyful and hard...very hard...in the same way.  But the thing that was especially hard was that I wasn't thanked in any way, though others were.

As I was sitting outside on my porch, "licking my emotional wounds," enjoying the weird "delight" of self-pity ("I can't believe that they didn't even thank me!"), the Voice that I always long to hear broke through,

Well done, good and faithful servant...Enter into the joy of your master. (Matthew 25:23 ESV)

Oh my! I was undone!

HIS "Well Done"  was worth it all! Much better than all of the thank you's and recognition on this earth!

So dear friends, members of the sandwich generation caring for beloved aged ones and moms and dads pouring it out for the beloved young ones and everyone else in between, hear this from the Voice that in reality you too always long to hear,

...as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.

Well done, good and faithful servant...Enter into the joy of your master.

Amen!

Serving God's Purpose in my Fleeting Days...

For David, after he had served the purpose of God in his own generation, fell asleep...Acts 13:36a

A few years ago, my husband had what I call "a heart episode" -- not a heart attack, praise God, but an issue with his heart rhythms that sent him to the emergency room.  Since John had had a "widow maker" heart attack several years before, the docs decided to keep him in the hospital and run some tests.

I kissed John good-by that night and went home.  I had perfect peace that John was in good hands...and most of all, the Great Hands of our Healer God!  Exhausted by the long day, I hastily sent out an email to some of our "prayer peeps," asking for prayer for John and signing it with Acts 13:36a.  The Lord had just reminded me of this verse a week or two before as I was sharing with a small Bible study group.  My friend Jenna, who had been a part of that group, jokingly responded to my email, "Are you sure you want Acts 13:36?  Are we praying that John live or die (fall asleep)?"

For those of you who may also be a bit confused as to why I would share Acts 13 in a prayer request for John's health, let me give a little background:

My fascination with this truth began several years before.  My husband John was leading us through the book of Acts in our kinship group.  Maps went up on the screen, the journeys of Paul were clarified, even drawings and photos of archaeological dig sites were explained and imagined!  I don't remember much to tell you the truth.   But I do remember the above verse.  It really hit me like a ton of bricks...and as I've meditated on it and mulled over it for days and weeks and months and even years, it has brought me tremendous encouragement and peace.  Why, you may ask?

Well, as an answer to that question, here's my PS to my praise report sent to our praying friends the following week:

For those of you who may have been confused as to my verse -- it's a great comfort to me that our life on earth will not end until God has fulfilled His purpose through each of us in our generation!  Amen to Acts 13:36A!

And isn't that what life is all about for us children of God...to so let Him live and love and serve through us that His great purpose in His Son, from before time began, will be worked out in and through our human lives on this earth.  What an awesome privilege and hope!  We are part of something bigger than us!

There's a song that I discovered last year that makes me think of my Acts 13 verse.  It wasn't long after hearing for the first time this haunting melody (Johann Sebastian Bach's melody "Wachet Auf" played on folk instruments) and the accompanying song, that I started playing it in my car on my way to work each day.

It moves me to think that the Lord Christ uses the work I do each day to accomplish His purpose -- to glorify Himself and build His kingdom.

That's because He lives His life through me His child, His disciple, His instrument.

I particularly love one of the lines:

May we...Serve Your purpose in our fleeting days...

It reminds me of my verse.  I love to take David's name out and put my name in:

Jan, when she has served the purpose of God in her generation, will fall asleep...into the Arms of Abba Father God!

And perhaps you would like to fill in the blank with your name...

________________, when he/she has served the purpose of God in his/her generation, will fall asleep...into the Arms of Abba Father God!

...and then join me in this prayer:

Oh Father, may I serve your purpose in my own generation!

Before You I kneel, my Master and Maker
To offer the work of my hands.
For this is the day You’ve given You’re servant;
I will rejoice and be glad
For the strength I have to live and breathe;
For each skill Your grace has given me;
For the needs and opportunities
That will glorify You great Name.

Before You I kneel and ask for Your goodness
To cover the work of my hands.
For patience and peace to shape all my labor,
Your grace for thorns in my path.
Flow within me like a living stream,
Wear away the stones of pride and greed
‘till Your ways are dwelling deep in me
And a harvest of life is grown.

Before You we kneel, Our Master and Maker;
Establish the work of our hands.
And order our steps to seek first Your kingdom
In every small and great task.
May we live the gospel of Your grace,
Serve Your purpose in our fleeting days,
Then our lives will bring eternal praise
And all glory to Your Name.

Before You I Kneel (A Worker's Prayer), Keith & Kristyn Getty

Grieving the Loss of the Living this Christmas

I'm grieving!  I've started to say the long, slow good-bye!  Watching my hero of a mom,* my "little Mommy," wither away...body and mind, in and out, on and off.  It's hard to watch the fragile, strong life of who she has been fade more and more. Remembering Christmases past.  Even songs heard in our home on Christmas Day...like "Here Comes Santa in a Red Canoe" and "Mele Kalikimaka." (My dad was a WWII South Pacific, Navy vet).  The fun and enjoyment, dulled by Mom's inability to connect to the music that was so precious to all of us.

Are you experiencing grief this time of year?  Maybe you have lost someone you love.  Or maybe you are also saying a long, slow, "good-by."  Weak, fragile, in and out, back and forth.  Heart-rending!

Walking today, grabbing hold of grief with sobs, this song came on my ipod...comfort from the Lord of Heaven.  Psalm 121...the Source of strength for us all.

May you be comforted too.

Total Praise Lord I will life my eyes to the hills Knowing my help is coming from You Your peace you give me In time of the storm You are the source of my strength You are the strength of my life I lift my hands in total praise to you Lord, I will lift my eyes to the hills Knowing my help is coming from You Your peace you give me In times of the storm You are the source of my strength You are the strength of my life I lift my hands in total praise to you Amen, Amen, Amen, Amen, Amen, Amen, Amen, Amen

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ymqnQkZpX20[/youtube]

*My tribute to my mom on her 85th birthday. She's now approaching 90!

My Mother, my Hero

 

 

 

 

 

To my Brother on his 60th Birthday

Dearest Conrad Happy 60th birthday!  This is a momentous occasion.  I know people might say that 60 is the new 50, but I'm sorry, 60 is 60!

I remember when I turned 60, I thought to myself,

Oh my gosh!  Daddy died at 60!  I still feel I have lots of living left in me!

And I know you do too!

Now by God's grace in your 60's, you too will be receiving each day as a gift to be embraced more fully than ever before.

And so that's my prayer for you, dear brother -- that you will fulfill God's purpose for your life everyday that you walk on this earth.  It's all gift...and it's all grace...and so are YOU to all who know and love you.

With love & admiration always Your big sister Janet

 

 

The God of my Mothering: the Unchanging God

Beth-Jeremy-e1305634179814-150x150-1
Beth-Jeremy-e1305634179814-150x150-1

Where had the years gone? Our son Jeremy was already married for 3 years and moving on with life.

Our daughter Beth --the "baby" of the family-- had just graduated from UD, gotten married, and moved to Arizona all in one month.  To top it off, our surrogate daughter Michelle, who had lived with us for about 3 years, moved to California a couple days after Beth's wedding.

Scan 9
Scan 9

Here I was with the "Empty Nest."  I guess I had lived as if there would always be young people in my home to spice up life.  Regrets started flooding in:  "I should have relished every moment more consciously."  " I should have enjoyed it more, rather than taking everything so seriously." And on and on with those thoughts that "eat you alive".

To add to all that, my mom was turning 80 and my mother-in-law, 81.  A friend of ours told us that statistically very few of those who enter their 80's live to be 90.  That hit me like a ton of bricks.  Chances are, we would be burying our moms in the next 10 years.  I guess I had taken it for granted that my hero of a mom would only be a phone call away or a day's drive away.

It wasn't that I didn't have other things in my life.  I had a "big" life...teaching ESL class, Bible studies, retreats...

G'ma & Babci 2008
G'ma & Babci 2008

But I was grieving!  Emotionally, I went into a months-long melancholy.

I started to ask myself, "What really endures in this life?"  In my head, I knew the answer, but I needed an answer for my heart.  Everything really important to me was drastically changing, and I guess I hadn't seen it coming!  Or maybe, being as independent and self-starting as I am, I didn't realize that it would be so hard!

Well, God, in His usual amazing way, started answering my questions and meeting me in my struggles.  In my devotions one day, I read:

In ages past You laidthe foundation of the earth,and the heavens are the work of Your hands.Even they will perish, but You remain forever; they will wear out like an old clothing. You will change them like a garment, and they will fade away. But You are always the same; Your years never end. The children of Your people will live in security.Their children's children will thrive in Your presence. Psalm 102:25-28 NLT

So what really endures no matter the changes in life?  The Everlasting GOD and those who belong to Him from generation to generation.

Let me ask you, dear moms,

When the "dust" of your mothering has settled, and you find yourself with "the Empty Nest"... When you start to lose the heroes of the previous generation, and you find yourself nearing the top of the generational ladder... What will stabilize you for the days ahead? To Whom will you turn...Who will never change and will be there for you no matter the changes?

May you find your comfort and stability in our Faithful, Unchanging God. And may you find your purpose in an ever deepening walk with Him.

FAITHFUL ONE Brian Doerksen

Faithful One, so unchanging Ageless One, You’re my Rock of Peace Lord of all, I depend on You I call out to You, again and again I call out to You, again and again

You are my Rock, in times of trouble You lift me up when I fall down All through the storm Your love is the anchor My hope is in You alone


The Fleeting Sands of Time

The clock is ticking...the 2012 calendar pages are getting ready to close... And as they do, I'm happy to introduce you to another "guest branch."  Sue Cutting is a long-time friend, sister in the Lord, fellow homeschooler of yesteryear...but most of all a devout and earnest follower of our Lord Jesus Christ.

In this short piece, Sue writes from a "senior" perspective about the passage of time.  But this is not just for us seniors.  It's also for all younger folk:  moms, dads, singles...even teenagers.  Why?  Because life is fleeting...it's a vapor, a mist as the book of James says,

What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes.  James 4:14

So join me in reading  and reflecting.  Thank you, Sue, for these wise words.

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 Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of time…Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is. Ephesians 5:15-17

A collection of hourglasses is gathered on a small, round table in our home. They are visible reminders of time relentlessly and silently slipping away.  At this point in our lives, more minutes are gone than yet remain and we want to be on guard against “time thieves” waiting to steal our treasured moments.

We remind ourselves that we can’t afford to waste time worrying. It is far better to pray, meditate on truth – and trust God.  We can’t afford to squander our days chasing fantasies or amassing more trinkets destined to rust, corrode or be eaten by moths.  No time left to “impress people” at the expense of pleasing God. No time left to expect others to meet the deepest needs of our hearts – because only God can do that.

We have these fleeting sands of time to live intentionally, thankfully, being mindful of the beauty around us and the multitude of blessings from a good God.  

For God so loved the world that He sent his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. John 3:16

The privilege and responsibility of sharing this Good News with succeeding generations becomes more precious and pressing as the hourglass empties.

Sue & Tom Cutting

Testimony of a Recovering Legalist...

A Branch, First Communion-01
A Branch, First Communion-01

Yes, that's me...and it's all about one word...GRACE, God's miraculous and matchless GRACE. So on this my 65th birthday, I want to praise the Name of the HOLY ONE...for saving every day and sanctifying every day... this needy, but Christ-filled daughter of His!

This is my song! Every line has been my life...and I praise Him that...

He who began a good work in [me] will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus. Phil 1:6

Grace and Nothing More!

A Branch - Convent
A Branch - Convent

I thought while on this voyage long My strength God would increase And at some point along the way My struggling would cease I fought with boldness, wind and wave And yet the skirmish lost Exhausted, all provision gone The channel still uncrossed As lifeless I in stillness drift Just strength enough to pray It's only then I feel the surge That speeds me on my way

By His own hand and faithfulness He steers me toward a distant shore And the wind that billows in the sail Is grace and nothing more Yes, it's grace and nothing more

Me & my Branch pruned
Me & my Branch pruned

I seek the bloom of holiness He leads me deep within Reveals the hardness of my heart Unearths my hidden sin My barren soul groans in despair In brokenness I cry Oh, God, I find no hope in me A smile His sweet reply For where the tears of brokenness Have soaked the fallow ground The tender shoots of holiness Now spring up all around

blooming but not ripe
blooming but not ripe

Strength in my weakness Joy through the pain Hope when I'm helpless Loss my greatest gain

By His own hand and faithfulness He steers me toward a distant shore And the wind that billows in the sail Is grace and nothing more Yes, it's grace and nothing more

A Word on Wednesday: REMEMBER

re·mem·ber   [ri-mem-ber]  verb (used with object)1.  to recall to the mind by an act or effort of memory; think of again: I'll try to remember the exact date. 2.  to retain in the memory; keep in mind; remain aware of: Remember your appointment with the dentist. 3.  to have (something) come into the mind again: I just remembered that it's your birthday today. 4.  to bear (a person) in mind as deserving a gift, reward, or fee: The company always remembers us at Christmas. 5.  to give a tip, donation, or gift to: to remember the needy.

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If you are younger (under the age of 50, new new 40 :)...

Remember your Creator in the days of your youth...  Eccl 12:1 NIV

Or as the Message translation says:

Honor and enjoy your Creator while you're still young,    Before the years take their toll and your vigor wanes,    Before your vision dims and the world blurs    And the winter years keep you close to the fire.

 In old age, your body no longer serves you so well.    Muscles slacken, grip weakens, joints stiffen.    The shades are pulled down on the world.    You can't come and go at will. Things grind to a halt.    The hum of the household fades away.    You are wakened now by bird-song.    Hikes to the mountains are a thing of the past.    Even a stroll down the road has its terrors.    Your hair turns apple-blossom white,    Adorning a fragile and impotent matchstick body.    Yes, you're well on your way to eternal rest,    While your friends make plans for your funeral.

 Life, lovely while it lasts, is soon over.    Life as we know it, precious and beautiful, ends.    The body is put back in the same ground it came from.    The spirit returns to God, who first breathed it. Ecclesiastes 12:1-7  The Message

HOW are you remembering Him...honoring and enjoying Him today?

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No matter your age...

Remember your leaders, who spoke the word of God to you. Consider the outcome of their way of life and imitate their faith. Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever. Hebrews 13:7-8

WHO are your remembering today?  What did their faith look like in their life?

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If you are over 50...

I will remember the deeds of the Lord;     yes, I will remember your miracles of long ago. I will consider all your works     and meditate on all your mighty deeds. Psalm 77:11-12

The righteous will flourish like a palm tree, he will grow like a cedar of Lebanon planted in the house of the Lord, he will flourish in the courts of our God. he will still yield fruit in old age; he shall be full of sap and very green to declare the Lord is upright; He is my Rock, and there is no unrighteousness in Him! Psalm 92:12-15

WHAT deeds of the Lord do you remember and proclaim?

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...and when He had given thanks, He broke it and said, "This is my body, which is for you; do this in remembrance of ME."

The Class of '65 Turns 65

Jan's senior pic
Jan's senior pic

You heard it first here, people...or maybe not!  This year the class of '65...the beginning of the Baby Boomers...the "American Dream" era...is turning 65!  And that's me! Even though 65 is the new 55... when you go on Medicare, I'm sorry, 65 is 65!

But I'm not bitter...truly!  I've lived nicely in "La, La Land" thanks to my sweet, care-giving husband who takes care of all our business and finances.  But now I have decisions to make because I'm turning 65 a year and a half before him!  I need to make my medicare choices in the next few months before my birthday!

vanity mirror
vanity mirror

It's not that "aging" hasn't stared me in the mirror for years...it has.  Years ago, I remember my mother-in-law telling me how she marveled as she looked in the mirror, "Who's that old lady staring back at me?"

Even though my mom tries to add some perspective, "Why are you telling your age...you're just a KID!"  Keep in mind that she's 87!

Daddy & me wedding day
Daddy & me wedding day

In some ways, aging has sneaked up on me...

But I'm the same high school girl who got crushes, the same college girl who fell in love with "the Man" [click here to see him and read about our 40th anniversary];

baby Jeremy and me
baby Jeremy and me

the same young woman who was walked down the aisle by her Daddy;

the same young mother who gave birth first to a beloved son and then to a darling daughter;

the same woman who raised them, nursed them, educated them, agonized over them, and then launched them

baby Beth & me
baby Beth & me

into their own adult lives...to fall in love with their own "Loves" and have their own babies.

And I'm still that same woman staring back at me in the mirror...praising God (not without a few tears) for those years and for time I still have with "the Man" [click here to see how I almost lost him].

The question is "Can I age with grace and spiritual beauty grounded in the LORD and His love"...even if I've become "invisible" to the "youth & beauty" worshiping culture around me?

I love and hold to the beautiful promise (and prediction) the LORD gives his aging children in Psalm 92:12-15 [note: I've made the reference specifically female, though it could be either] --

fruitful plam tree
fruitful plam tree

The righteous woman will flourish like a palm tree,

She will grow like a cedar of Lebanon

Planted in the house of the Lord,

She will flourish in the courts of our God.

She will still yield fruit in old age;

She shall be full of sap and very green

To declare the Lord is upright;

He is my Rock, and there is no unrighteousness in Him!

My heart's desire is to continue to declare Him to be my all-sufficient Rock through my words and deeds as long as the Lord gives me life and breath on this earth.

LORD Jesus, may it be so through the power of your Indwelling Life.  Amen!

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This is just for fun...while I'm still 64...until June 16, 2012:)


Love and Trouble and Joy...LIFE

John at MVH 7-14-11
John at MVH 7-14-11

In this world, you will have trouble...[like heart attacks]...but take courage, I have overcome the world! These things have I spoken to you that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be made full! John 16:33;15:11

I'm just beginning to process my husband John's heart attack that happened earlier this week.  Believe it or not, despite the fears and tears (that were locked up inside of me for a time), I've had the incredible peace and joy that the Lord promises.  Those of you who have walked consciously in and with the Lord through trials know what I mean!

The joy of the Lord is your strength. Nehemiah 10:d In Thy presence there is fulness of joy... Psalm 16:11

The Lord has shown Himself near and caring through...

138_6180
138_6180

....giving me two significant verses to hang onto:  Phil 1:6 and Isaiah 26:3-4 ...my neighbor Nancy and my friend Penny dropping everything early in their day to play and pray with our two young grandsons who had slept over so I could follow after the ambulance to the hospital ...a Christian male nurse grabbing both our hands and praying with us just after John arrived in the ICU ...my being able to watch my husband "chatting it up" with the medical personnel, showing forth the loving Jesus who lives within him ...our son Jeremy and daughter-in-law Cortney driving 7 hours and ending their 10 year anniversary trip early to be here ...our daughter Beth in California and my friend Maria, after a long day at work, each calling the night I needed to "unlock some frozen tears." ...and of course, many loving family and friends sending timely messages via facebook, texts, emails, calls, and visits (Thank you so much!)

As if all this love wasn't enough, I've experienced the Lord's "winks" this week -- little delightful "serendipidies" proving that He is here and He cares -- namely through a poem and a song.

I've never been much of a "poetry buff"...just never got it until I lived life a little more.  Now I get it!  The poem that "captured me" was hidden at the end of a novel I was struggling for months to finish!  Now I know why I struggled so long...God's timing!  I needed that poem this week :)  And I'll let it speak for itself:

Life Paul Laurence Dunbar

A crust of bread and a corner to sleep in, A minute to smile and an hour to weep in, A pint of joy to a peck of trouble, And never a laugh but the moans come double; And that is life!

A crust and a corner that love makes precious, With a smile to warm and the tears to refresh us; And joy seems sweeter when cares come after, And a moan is the finest of foils for laughter; And that is life!

AMEN!

Then there's the song.  A few weeks ago, a friend told us about a movie she had just seen on Netflix.  John and I watched and enjoyed it.  But the thing that stayed with us most was the theme song.  We just couldn't get it out of our minds -- the melody was so haunting and romantic.  So we found it and ordered it on Amazon.

138_6179
138_6179

Well, guess what?  It came while John was in the hospital.  So the night of his "release", we sat and listened to it...talking, crying, not talking, laughing, just being together...and agreeing with Robert Browning,

Grow old along with me! The best is yet to be, the last of life, for which the first was made. Our times are in his hand who saith, 'A whole I planned, youth shows but half; Trust God: See all, nor be afraid!'


The God of My Mothering: the Unchanging GOD

Where had the years gone?

Our son Jeremy was already married for 3 years and moving on with life.

Our daughter Beth --the "baby" of the family-- had just graduated from UD, gotten married, and moved to Arizona all in one month.  To top it off, our surrogate daughter Michelle, who had lived with us for about 3 years, moved to California a couple days after Beth's wedding.

Here I was with the "Empty Nest."  I guess I had lived as if there would always be young people in my home to spice up life.  Regrets started flooding in:  "I should have relished every moment more consciously."  " I should have enjoyed it more, rather than taking everything so seriously." And on and on with those thoughts that "eat you alive".

To add to all that, my mom was turning 80 and my mother-in-law, 81.  A friend of ours told us that statistically very few of those who enter their 80's live to be 90.  That hit me like a ton of bricks.  Chances are, we would be burying our moms in the next 10 years.  I guess I had taken it for granted that my hero of a mom would only be a phone call away or a day's drive away.

It wasn't that I didn't have other things in my life.  I had a "big" life...teaching ESL class, Bible studies, retreats...

But I was grieving!  Emotionally, I went into a months-long melancholy.

I started to ask myself, "What really endures in this life?"  In my head, I knew the answer, but I needed an answer for my heart.  Everything really important to me was drastically changing, and I guess I hadn't seen it coming!  Or maybe, being as independent and self-starting as I am, I didn't realize that it would be so hard!

Well, God, in His usual amazing way, started answering my questions and meeting me in my struggles.  In my devotions one day, I read:

In ages past You laid  the foundation of the earth, and the heavens are the work of Your hands. Even they will perish, but You remain forever; they will wear out like an old clothing. You will change them like a garment, and they will fade away. But You are always the same; Your years never end. The children of Your people will live in security. Their children's children will thrive in Your presence. Psalm 102:25-28 NLT

So what really endures no matter the changes in life?  The Everlasting GOD and those who belong to Him from generation to generation.

Let me ask you, dear moms,

When the "dust" of your mothering has settled, and you find yourself with "the Empty Nest"... When you start to lose the heroes of the previous generation, and you find yourself nearing the top of the generational ladder... What will stabilize you for the days ahead? To Whom will you turn...Who will never change and will be there for you no matter the changes?

May you find your comfort and stability in our Faithful, Unchanging God. And may you find your purpose in an ever deepening walk with Him.

FAITHFUL ONE Brian Doerksen

Faithful One, so unchanging Ageless One, You’re my Rock of Peace Lord of all, I depend on You I call out to You, again and again I call out to You, again and again

You are my Rock, in times of trouble You lift me up when I fall down All through the storm Your love is the anchor My hope is in You alone

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ecmDytp3nNw[/youtube]